"Great professional staff, inadequate accommodation"

About: St Mary's Hospital (London)

I recently spent five hours in A & E at St Mary's after a fall getting on a bus and consequent head injury, therefore arriving by ambulance. The staff in A & E were extremely busy, but all were kind and attentive and checked my condition extremely thoroughly; I could not fault that crucial aspect of the care I received - in particular the female doctor who was looking after me could not have been better. I am most grateful to them all, and to the NHS that employs such high calibre people. I did spend quite a lot of time sitting waiting, but that in itself was not unacceptable. However, one of the difficulties that was affecting both patients and staff was the desperate lack of cubicles for patients to be seen in; doctors were wasting a great deal of their precious time chasing around trying to find somewhere to see a patient, sometimes having to improvise (eg, go into an adjacent department, or use a store room); anyone able to walk at all went to and from a very small waiting room where there were not even enough seats - and no room for more! It occurs to me now that this situation must make maintenance of hygiene and containment of infections additionally tricky. The admin desk had no hope whatever of keeping track of where patients were at any juncture. Cubicles are not large spaces - even a small extra number would be an invaluable investment to make better use of professional's working time, facilitate efficiency and hygiene standards, and significantly improve patients' experience and well-being.

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Response from St Mary's Hospital

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust appreciates your feedback with regard to A & E at St Mary's. Thank you for taking the time to share your kind appreciation for the care you received and for our staff. We certainly also appreciate the important observations you have made with regard to the environment, these too have been passed on to senior staff.

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